What To Do When It Rains

In Discipline, Mental Toughness
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Today is a warm and sunny (read: typical) day in Miami. But, just like anywhere, the weather isn’t always great. Unless you live in Phoenix or a similar desert-like area, rain happens every now and then. Even if you manage to dodge the actual raindrops, rainy days— the unexpected, unwanted, and unfortunate — happen in life.

What To Do When It Rains

Here’s what you do when a rainy day interrupts you, to turn inclement weather to your advantage.

Grab an umbrella, dummy! Cover your ass

Let’s assume that you work at a place you love. The boss is great, the salary is competitive,  and the work is right in your skill wheelhouse. You love your job and you don’t want to go anywhere. If you had reason to believe that the company you worked for was soon to go out of business or be largely downsized, though, you’d probably sharpen up your resume and send a courteous “hello” to you business contacts in anticipation that you’d be needing their help soon: Not because you want your empire free agency to happen, but because you’re not stupid. You know what you can’t control, so you do something about what you can control. That’s just being smart.

Even if you don’t want it to rain, it’s prudent to have an umbrella handy, just in case. Would you rather the inconvenience of carrying an unused umbrella all day, or the mess of a soaked outfit and ruined hairdo?

If there’s a legit reason to expect rain, cover your ass.

Put the plants outside

I had an asshole of a neighbor when I lived in South Beach.

The guy was a middle aged redneck, about 6’6” tall, who lived in the apartment next door to me with his wife. He had a television mounted on the wall that our apartments shared. One night he had the damn thing turned up so loud that I could hear the hum of the TV through the wall as I tried falling asleep. After an hour, the hum of the TV hadn’t lessened. I got up out of my bed, went next door and knocked on his door.

He didn’t answer.

I knocked harder and longer; still no answer.

At this point I stopped being polite and banged on his door — hard, in a way that couldn’t be ignored or missed, even over a loud TV set.

With the security metal door still locked, my 6’6” pussy neighbor opened his main door just a crack, enough to poke his head out and announce to me that he was calling the police. Then he slammed the door shut. I knew he wasn’t bluffing; there was real fear in his eyes when he opened the door to see my face. I think he was afraid of Black people.

The cops arrived ten minutes later. The redneck and his wife tried to play the horrified victim card. Nothing happened, save for the police telling me to call them about the noise next time instead of knocking on a neighbor’s door.

[I always wondered how a woman — the redneck’s wife — could lay in a bed with a man who was too afraid to face another man who only wanted to politely ask him to keep the noise down. I figured that she probably doesn’t know either, and probably doesn’t.]

Anyhow, I introduce him to share that this redneck asshole also had a love of plants — potted houseplants that he cared for attentively.

Every time it rained, my neighbor would come outside in his bright yellow rain poncho and place his plants a few feet out from his front door, where they would collect rainwater from the ongoing downpour.

When it rains, there’s always something good you can get out of the situation; it’s your job to know (or to find out) what that is.

The redneck had his plants. What do you have?

[The happy ending to that saga: We were neighbors on the second floor of a two-story complex, his apartment in the corner next to the steps. One rainy early morning, he had his plants out as usual. On my way down the steps I accidentally bumped a couple of his porcelain pots, which fell down the steps and broke. I’m sure the asshole suspected foul play, but he could never prove it and was too afraid of Black people to ever approach me about it.]

Find the worms.

50 Cent told the story in his book with Robert Greene, The 50th Law, about how he saved up enough money to get out of hustling and make his foray into music.

Coming home from a brief incarceration, all the hustlers in 50’s Queens, New York neighborhood had created a system that brought order to the previously violent and dangerous street drug game. Hustling had always been volatile and violent, what with police patrolling the neighborhood and rival dealers always scheming to take territory and customers from other dealers. Hustling was a dangerous game, one in which your freedom and your very life was on the line every day. Tired of the wariness that the hustling grind brought with it, the dealers worked out a calmer system: Each dealer would have his own corner to work, and his own stable of repeat customers. Every dealer respected the territory of the other hustlers. Violence was reduced to a minimum, and everyone was to fit into this calm, orderly system of drug dealing.

Initially, 50’s only choice was to fit into the system; if he tried pushing too hard to do things his own way he’d be met with few cooperators and much hostility. Problem was, under this system, 50 had a cap on his customer base, and couldn’t expand operations to earn enough money to stash away money to move into music like he’d planned. At this pace of this new order, 50 figures he would be working a drug corner for the rest of his life.

But then he had an idea.

50 knew some stick-up artists from Brooklyn whom he’d met while incarcerated. 50 made a deal with the robbers: 50 would tell them where the getting was best for robberies in his Queens neighborhood, and the robbers would come stick up the drug dealers (including 50). The dealers could keep the money and jewelry from the heists; 50 would get the drugs they’d lifted off of the dealers.

As the robbers made a few sweeps of the neighborhood, the whole new system that had been in place was now in flux. The dealers could no longer stand in one place, as they’d be sitting ducks for robberies; on top of that, they’d all have to carry guns — and being caught with a gun meant solid prison time. Because of their now-nomadic hustling, their drug addict customers couldn’t find their regular salespeople, many of whom had been robbed of their drugs anyway.

50 stepped into the breach with a full supply of drugs to sell to the fiends, making himself the go-to supplier for all the addicts in Southside Queens. He managed to earn and save enough money to fund his full-time foray into music.

When it rains — systems in flux, normal situations gone haywire, mass confusion — there is always opportunity to be had for the keen observer who manages to keep his emotions in check, and for the resourceful hustlers who see opportunity where others see fear and anxiety.

Now, the next time a rainy day ruins your fair-weather plans, you have options.

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